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New Grace mission will weigh Earth's water

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Tom the Photon

These are quite remarkable probes with a level of precision that makes the mind boggle.  As the report says they will be able to measure the rate at which land is swelling due to rain or shrinking due to drought.  They can measure changes in the variation of water height across seas and oceans and from this analyse changing winds and currents.  Their data will inform scientists and governments worldwide on water distribution and usage.

Take care with the rather misleading headline.  That’s arisen from quote by Michael Watkins, Director of NASA’s JET:

‘GRACE-FO will map Earth's water movements "by actually measuring the weight of the water," Watkins said.’ https://www.space.com/40451-grace-fo-mission-will-track-earths-water.html

While GRACE-FO will be detecting minute variations in gravity due to the presence of water, one thing it will not be doing is weighing the amount of water on Earth.

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